” Where there is faith, there is love; where there is love there is PEACE; where there is PEACE, there is GOD; and where there is GOD; there is NO need.” Leo Tolstoy

While watering the grass an overwhelming sense of PEACE and calmness took hold of me and I thought what a difference a year can make. I’m sure you remember that last year this time, the country was in chaos. The Coronavirus made its debut and changed our lives forever. It altered virtually every area of our lives- the way we live, worship, work, and socialize. Remember-thousands of people were dying daily, hospitals had no vacancies, businesses closed leaving millions unemployed, grocery shelves were bare, toilet paper and water were being rationed, the country shut down, nationwide stay-at-home directives were put in place, while protests supporting equality filled the streets. It seemed like EVERY single day was stressful. Listening to the president was stressful. Watching the daily coronavirus updates was stressful. Watching the news was stressful. Grocery shopping was stressful. Everything was stressful and we couldn’t find PEACE anywhere. Is it possible to have PEACE in the midst of chaos? I think it is!!! I believe that PEACE IS UP TO US!! Do you? So for this week’s blog, let’s talk SHIP about discovering that PEACE IS UP TO US!!

In spite of a deadly pandemic, there was a lot going on in 2020. There were daily protests against police brutality and racial injustices across the nation and in almost EVERY city in America. The Coronavirus, the 400k deaths it caused. The police, the wrongful deaths they’d caused. The president, and the deaths he’d caused, all contributed to a very looooonnnggg stressful, frightening, and anxiety-filled year. Everything was out of whack and nothing was PEACEFUL. Even though many of the issues-racism, hate- that sparked the chaos last year still remain, the anxieties and angst it has caused have simmered down. Finally, with new leaderSHIP, there are some positive changes happening and things are becoming a lot more PEACEFUL. We have a new president, the hateful tensions from the previous president have lessened, the vaccine for the virus is being administered, businesses are reopening, and there is a renewed hope that things are getting better. Things are finally becoming much more PEACEFUL!!

As I continued watering the grass, I pondered what it was that was responsible for my overwhelming sense of PEACE and reflected on a few Bible stories for the answers. I recalled the story told in Mark 4:39-40. After Jesus had been with the disciples on a boat teaching parables all day, HE fell asleep on the stern. A windstorm occurred and the waves began pounding the boat filling it with water and the frightened disciples woke HIM in a panic and asked, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” The story tells us that HE woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea PEACE! Be Still!” and the winds ceased and there was dead calm in the sea. And in John 16:33 it says, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have PEACE. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world.” In essence, though GOD we can command the storms in our lives because PEACE IS UP TO US!! It was then that I realized that my overwhelming sense of PEACE was attributed to my faith.

Through these pandemic experiences, I’ve learned that having a PEACEFUL mindset helped me find the strength and comfort needed to get through these very stressful times. I understood that NO matter what’s going on in the world, in our homes, or in our lives, we can CHOOSE to focus our heart and mind on GOD instead. PEACE IS UP TO US!! GOD is a CHOICE and when we CHOOSE HIM, we will experience HIS perfect PEACE in every area of our lives regardless of what’s happening around us. Because where there is PEACE, there is GOD. PEACE IS UP TO US!! Life will always present us with some variations of storms-relationSHIPS, finances, etc.- but just know that it is within us to calm these storms because inevitably PEACE IS UP TO US!!!

SHIP TALK: Are you stressed? Do you believe that PEACE IS UP TO US?

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